A metal detectorist in Dorset has unearthed a medieval diamond ring during his second outing in a farmer’s field that could sell for between £30,000-£40,000 in an upcoming sale.When David Board, 69, took up metal detecting again in 2019, he could not have envisaged what he was going to find. Having tried detecting on local beaches in the 1970s and not finding much, it was a family friend who motivated him to try his luck again. Armed with the latest detector, an XP Deus, David got permission to search near Thorncombe in Dorset by a local farmer, for whom David had formerly been a milk tanker driver for many years.On his second outing on a pasture field, nearing the end of the day, and having found just a few old copper half pennies, David got a signal near a footpath. At a depth of 5 inches he saw what he thought was a sweet wrapper, then looking more closely he realised it was a ring and put it in his top pocket. The Lady Brook Medieval diamond ring is now set to be offered by Mayfair Auctioneers Noonans on November 29 in its Jewellery and Watches sale.The Finds Liaison Officer Lucy Shipley took the ring to the British Museum and confirmed that it was Medieval in date and a very rare example. David is hoping to use his share of the money to help his partner’s daughter arrange a mortgage.Nigel Mills, Consultant (Coins and Antiquities) at Noonans explained: “This ring is in almost perfect condition and has an inverted diamond set into the raised bezel so that it comes to a point. The hoop is composed of two neatly entwined bands symbolising the union of the couple. Inside the band is an inscription in French ‘ieo vos tien foi tenes le moy’ (translating as I hold your faith, hold mine)”.The location of the find in Dorset was acquired by Henry de Broc (or de la Brook) from Reginald de Mohun (1206–1258), Feudal baron of Dunster in Somerset, who had inherited this land from his first wife Hawise Fleming, daughter and heiress of William Fleming. It then passed by descent through the Brook family, coming into the possession of the wealthy landowner Sir Thomas Brook (c.1355-1418). Due to the exceptionally fine quality of this ring, it was, quite possibly, the wedding ring given by Sir Thomas Brook to his wife Lady Joan Brook for their marriage in 1388.
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